National Health Observances

How Is Alcohol Abused?

How Is Alcohol Abused?

In most parts of the world, alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume. As a result, beverages that contain alcohol are available almost everywhere, and clearly, many adults partake. Since use is so common, it might seem hard to determine who is drinking alcohol in an appropriate manner and who is drinking in a manner that could lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.

Binge Drinking Alcohol

Binge drinking is one such sign of alcohlism. This type of drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involves consuming alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. For men, that means drinking five or more drinks in about two hours; for women, that involves consuming four or more drinks within two hours.

Excessive Alcohol Use

This type of alcohol abuse pattern is easy to spot. These are people who sit down and attempt to down a great deal of alcohol at the same time. There’s intent to this drinking that is hard to hide. But this isn’t the only type of alcohol abuse out there. People may also abuse alcohol if they:

  • Take in alcoholic beverages and drive
  • Drink alcohol throughout the day
  • Consume alcohol in order to feel a buzz, without drinking in a binging manner
  • Feel the need to drink every single day
  • Drink a large amount of alcohol in social situations

These are all very different drinking patterns, but they have one thing in common. People who drink like this have lost some modicum of control over their consumption. The beverages drive their behaviors. It can seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one to understand, as people who don’t amend troublesome drinking behaviors can become people who have symptoms of alcoholism.

Difficult drinking patterns can shift electrical activities within the brain, and when that happens, people might have little to no control over how they drink or when they drink.

 

Source https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment


What is World Health Day about?

7 April 2020 is the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response – providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.

In this International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, World Health Day will highlight the current status of nursing and around the world. WHO and its partners will make a series of recommendations to strengthen of the nursing and midwifery workforce.

This will be vital if we are to achieve national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including mental health, emergency preparedness and response, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, amongst others.

We are calling for your support on World Health Day to ensure that the nursing and midwifery workforces are strong enough to ensure that everyone, everywhere gets the healthcare they need.

The tagline for World Health Day is: Support nurses and midwives.

Source https://www.who.int/news-room/campaigns/world-health-day/world-health-day-2020


: National Public Health Week and COVID-19

COVID-19 AND DAILY THEMES

The COVID-19 pandemic means public health is the topic of the day worldwide. How does that apply to our National Public Health Week daily themes? Here are just a few ideas.

 

MONDAY: MENTAL HEALTH — advocate for and promote emotional well-being

 

COVID-19 is causing heightened levels of stress. In particular, isolation and quarantine can be highly stressful. As can separation from loved ones, especially those detained off-shore or in other countries. And many in the public health and health care sectors, as well as those working in affected industries, are shouldering a significant mental health burden.

 

Reach out and check on your loved ones and community members. And read and share such resources as the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tips on managing anxiety and stress.

 

 

TUESDAY: MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH — ensure the health of mothers and babies throughout the lifespan

Research to date finds pregnant women and young children do not seem to be more susceptible to COVID-19. If anything, women (in general) may have a survival advantage over men (In China, 2.8% of infected men have died, compared to 1.7% of women).

 

Still, pregnant women and children are considered “at-risk populations” and need some special support during the pandemic. Check out the Kaiser Family Foundation’s issue brief Novel Coronavirus “COVID-19”: Special Considerations for Pregnant Women. HealthyChildren.org has a COVID-19 page for children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers links to clinical guidance and other resources, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has posted a practice advisory.

 

 

WEDNESDAY: VIOLENCE PREVENTION — reduce personal and community violence to improve health

 

Increased stress can lead to increased aggression, feeding a cycle of violence especially in communities already under strain. And, as APHA member Elena Ong writes in this Public Health Newswire post, “Since the first case of the new coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, in December, there’s been a surge in reports of microaggressions, discrimination and violent attacks against people who look Chinese or Asian.”

 

Much of the stress people are feeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to fear fed by misinformation. Help counteract the “infodemic” of bad and troubling information by sharing WHO’s mythbusters and resources on APHA’s COVID-19 page and Get Ready site. And as Ong reminds us, “let’s fight fear-mongering with principled and visionary leadership.”

 

 

THURSDAY: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH — help protect and maintain a healthy planet

 

In perhaps one of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution, specifically CO2 levels, diminished in Italy due to dramatic lifestyle changes. Yet as always, changes in people’s lifestyle patterns can have unexpected consequences on our environment. For now, remain vigilant in recycling plastics. If you are sick, dispose of soiled items by double-bagging in secured containers with lids. Continue to advocate for increased funding to improve our water infrastructure and adequate funding to support public health workers in monitoring, preparing for and responding to the health effects of climate change.

 

 

FRIDAY: EDUCATION — advocate for quality education and schools

 

As with any illness, reliance on science-based information and response is key. Schools at all levels should be engaged in active surveillance and communicate with their state and local public health departments should a person display possible COVID-19 symptoms. Distance learning is now more necessary than ever, heightening the need for access to technology and high-speed internet As schools are often the key source of daily nutrition for students in low-income families, school systems are now called on to find ways to distribute meals while maintaining social distancing.

 

Reach out to your local school system to see if volunteers are needed, whether for meal distribution, online learning support or other tasks. If you’ve found yourself suddenly at home with your school-aged children, CDC has advice on how to talk to them about COVID-19, as does the National Association of School Psychologists.

 

 

SATURDAY: HEALTHY HOMES — ensure access to affordable and safe housing

 

During the COVID-19 quarantine, people are spending even more time in their homes than usual. For those living in unsafe environments, problems like mold and secondhand smoke exposure can worsen existing health conditions.

 

Share CDC’s workplace, home and school guidance. And while designed to help people prepare their homes for an outbreak, CDC’s Protect Your Home page is still useful now, in the midst of the pandemic. The National Center for Healthy Housing’s Fact Sheets, Checklists and Guides page offers links on ways to keep your home safe, the costs of home upkeep and seasonal maintenance checklists.

 

 

SUNDAY: ECONOMICS — advocate for economic empowerment as the key to a healthy life

 

One of the most dramatic reactions to COVID-19 has been that of the stock markets and the underlying industries they represent. It already appears clear that many industries and their employees will suffer a significant financial hardship. On an individual level, the burden of being out of work and (potentially) hospitalized for an extended period of time can have disastrous impacts on financial health.

Advocate for paid sick leave and a living wage. Urge your members of Congress to prioritize public health infrastructure and paid sick, family and medical leave in any future legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

These tips brought to you by the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association and APHA.

 

Source http://www.nphw.org/nphw-2020/covid-19


National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is mobilizing law enforcement officers nationwide to look out for drivers texting or using their phone behind the wheel. The ‘U Drive. U Text. U Pay.’ high-visibility enforcement campaign, now in its fifth year.

In 2016, new NHTSA data shows that at least 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, including those who were texting and driving. Key statistical findings in NHTSA’s new 2016 Distracted Driving Research Note and Teen Distracted Driver Fact Sheet include:

To prevent tragedies due to distracted driving, motorists are urged to:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against unsafe drivers.

All pedestrians and bicyclists should focus on their surroundings and not on their electronic devices.

Source https://www.transportation.gov/connections/national-distracted-driving-awareness-month


The Hidden Costs of Alcoholism

People who engage in alcoholic behavior often think their drinking is a personal choice; it has no impact on those around them, and their excessive drinking is “no one’s business but my own.” In recovery, these same people are surprised to learn the devastation their alcohol abuse brought on the lives of those around them.

As a culture, when we hear that the number of people affected by alcoholism is growing, we seem to think, “That’s their business — “their” being the alcoholic.”

The findings of recent studies, however, challenge that notion that drinking only impacts the alcoholic. A careful cost analysis of the complex cycle of alcoholism reveals it as a disease that reaches deep into the pockets of our national, state, and local finances to trigger a multitude of “hidden costs.”

Dangerous behaviors common among alcoholics include impaired judgment and coordination, falling asleep at the wheel, falling asleep with lit cigarettes, aggressive outbursts, drinking to the point of vomiting, hangover, or alcohol poisoning — and these are just the ones most alcoholics experience in the course of their disease. All of these behaviors will eventually hit the system, in the form of health care costs, criminal justice costs, motor vehicle crash costs, and workplace productivity

The Hidden Costs of Alcoholism are Not Small.

It is estimated that alcohol-related expenses cost federal, state, and local governments $223.5 billion. Of that amount, taxpayers are footing the bill for $94.2 billion.

And in spite of our best efforts, alcoholism continues to take about 216 lives every day, or approximately 79,000 per year.

Who else ends up paying the costs of alcoholism? In addition to friends and family, the workplace suffers as the alcoholic worker becomes unreliable, repeatedly absent, and then gone. If the company is not losing productivity, then the alcoholic’s coworkers are pulling extra weight and, in essence, paying the cost of the individual’s absence.

Alcohol Recovery and Addiction

Once a person is addicted to alcohol, to stop it may take hospitalizations, rehabilitations, and re-rehabilitations all of which hemorrhage expenses — not to mention destroy relationships and property. The estimated cost to the system of this specialized addiction care is $24.6 billion. Since addiction is a disease that rewires the brain, the individual is unlikely to quit through “willpower” alone, and it often takes something dramatic (or “hitting rock bottom”) before they will make changes. There are costs associated with these dramatic scenarios. In the case of car accidents caused by driving drunk, costs include not just hospitalization, but the cost to insurance companies, car owners, municipal employees responding to the accident, and a continued chain reaction of costs that could ultimately include vehicular homicides and funeral expenses.

Costs associated with alcohol-related vehicular accidents alone are estimated at a staggering $14 billion a year.

Source https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment


Types of Alcoholics

  1. The first type, defined as the young adult subtype, includes young adult drinkers who don’t have family histories of alcoholism or co-occurring mental illnesses.
  2. The second type, known as the young antisocial subtype, also includes young adult drinkers. These people do have a family history of alcoholism, and they also have co-occurring mental illnesses and addictions to other substances.
  3. The third type, the functional subtype, is middle-aged and successful with a stable job and a supportive family. These are people with a family history of alcoholism, and about a quarter of them have a history of depression.
  4. The fourth type, the intermediate familial subtype, includes middle-aged people with a family history of alcoholism and a prior depressive episode.
  5. The fifth type, the chronic severe subtype, includes middle-aged people with family histories of alcoholism, a history of mental illness, and addictions to other substances.

 

Source https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment


The Prevalence of Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism in the U.S.

However, the dangers of alcohol abuse go beyond college kids getting too drunk at parties. An estimated 14.4 million Americans ages 18 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2018 according to NSDUH.3 Across the nation, 26.45% individuals 18 and older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month (typically 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in about 2 hours) while 6.6% engaged in heavy alcohol use (binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month) in the past month.3

 

Each year, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually and in 2014 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31% of overall driving fatalities (9,967 deaths).3 Unfortunately, these deaths could have been avoided, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.3

 

Problematic alcohol use has taken a toll on our economy. Drinking-related costs reached an estimated $249 billion in the U.S. in 2010, with binge drinking accounting for three-quarters of this economic burden.3 And $2 of every $5 were paid by federal, state, and local governments, meaning all Americans are paying for excessive alcohol use—no matter your level of consumption.4

 

These numbers suggest that problematic alcohol use continues to plague our society, and awareness about addiction and its harmful effects on our lives, is necessary in order to protect our loved ones and selves.

Source https://www.alcohol.org/awareness-month/


Alcohol Statistics and Data

Data:

  • The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 139.8 million Americans age 12 or older were past month alcohol users, 67.1 million people were binge drinkers in the past month, and 16.6 million were heavy drinkers in the past month.
  • About 2.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in 2018 drank alcohol in the past month, and 1.2 million of these adolescents binge drank in that period (2018 NSDUH).
  • Approximately 14.8 million people age 12 or older had an alcohol use disorder (2018 NSDUH).
  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of stroke, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, and other serious health conditions.
  • Excessive alcohol use can also lead to risk-taking behavior, including driving while impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreports that 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver daily.

 

Source https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/atod


Key Tuberculosis Facts

  • A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 (including 251 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS).
  • In 2018, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis(TB) worldwide. 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.1 million children. There were cases in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable
  • In 2018, 1.1 million children fell ill with TB globally, and there were 205 000 child deaths due to TB (including among children with HIV). Child and adolescent TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
  • In 2018, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases. Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 484 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug, of which 78% had MDR-TB.
  • Globally, TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year. This needs to accelerate to a 4–5% annual decline to reach the 2020 milestones of the End TB Strategy.
  • An estimated 58 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2018.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis


Facts, Symptoms, and Causes of CKD

The Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • 37 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
  • Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.
  • Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • Persistent proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.
  • High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Seniors are at increased risk.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine.

What causes CKD?

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high, causing damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If uncontrolled, or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Also, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.

Other conditions that affect the kidneys are:

  • Glomerulonephritis, a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the kidney’s filtering units. These disorders are the third most common type of kidney disease.
  • Inherited diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, which causes large cysts to form in the kidneys and damage the surrounding tissue.
  • Malformations that occur as a baby develops in its mother’s womb. For example, a narrowing may occur that prevents normal outflow of urine and causes urine to flow back up to the kidney. This causes infections and may damage the kidneys.
  • Lupus and other diseases that affect the body’s immune system.
  • Obstructions caused by problems like kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.
  • Repeated urinary infections.

What are the symptoms of CKD?

Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:

  • feel more tired and have less energy
  • have trouble concentrating
  • have a poor appetite
  • have trouble sleeping
  • have muscle cramping at night
  • have swollen feet and ankles
  • have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
  • have dry, itchy skin
  • need to urinate more often, especially at night.

Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family history of kidney failure
  • are older
  • belong to a population group that has a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians.

Source https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease